GOLDEN TIMEKEEPERS – Two collections from Patek Philippe illustrate the brand’s approach to classical refinement and how it embraces the spirit of adventure
What usually comes to mind when you hear the name “Patek Philippe”? “Classical” would be one adjective that would certainly pop up, along with “traditional” or “heritage.” Yet, the storied Swiss brand actually has something for everyone, for every occasion: From dress watches that are subtly elegant but would still stand out in a black tie event to sportier timepieces to accompany the wearer on more adventurous outings—and still wouldn’t look out of place in
said black tie affair.
Below, we delve into several novelties from the brand that beautifully illustrates how Patek Philippe explores both ends of the spectrum within its DNA.
Ebony and Gold
Patek Philippe’s Golden Ellipse was first launched back in 1968. For its debut, the dress watch came with a yellow gold case and a shimmering blue-gold dial. A major update was introduced in 2008, for the collection’s 40th anniversary, in the form of the Ref. 5738. This “Jumbo” model featured a platinum case measuring 34.5 by 39.5mm.
This brings us to 2018, which marks the Golden Ellipse’s 50th birthday. For the watch’s half-century mark, Patek Philippe introduces the Ref. 5738R-001 in rose gold. The warm hue ofthe case is then put in beautiful contrast against an ebony black sunburst dial which, in turn, helps accentuate the rose gold hour markers and hands. This color scheme continues all the way to the black alligator strap with its rose gold buckle. A black onyx cabochon set in the crown adds the finishing touch to the Golden Ellipse’s harmony of color.
And speaking of harmony, Patek Philippe also offers—on request—a pair of matching cuff links with an ebony black sunburst inlay in a rose gold frame to match the watch’s. Finally, while the appeal of the new Golden Ellipse lies mainly in its aesthetic qualities, it is just as much a mechanical masterpiece. Patek Philippe’s caliber 240 self-winding movement is particularly notable for being ultra-thin, allowing for the use of a case that’s only 5.9mm
thick. Naturally, this slim case helps the wearer maintain a streamlined silhouette while being dressed to the nines.
For the Flying Pair
A bit of trivia that might be unknown to even seasoned watch enthusiasts is that Patek Philippe has been making watches for aviators since way back in the 1930s. This part of the brand’s heritage came to the forefront once again in 2015 with the launch of the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time. The Ref. 5524 was first introduced in a white gold case paired with a blue dial. The 2018 incarnation of the watch, the Ref. 5524R-001, comes in rose gold and features
a black dial with a brown gradation. As can be expected from a pilot’s watch, the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time boasts superb legibility. This quality is then enhanced with applied, sculpted rose gold numerals with white luminous coatings. The broad, luminous batonstyle hands certainly help as well.
The Calatrava Pilot Travel Time puts a lot of emphasis on the travel part as well. or to be exact, the needs of the modern-day traveler, in this case with an easily adjustable second time zone display. Two pushers on the left-hand (at 8 and 10 o’clock) move the local-time hour hand clockwise and counterclockwise—without affecting the watch’s rate of timekeeping. The pierced hour hand, meanwhile, keeps track of home time. Complementing this dual time
zone display are day/night indicators at 9 and 3 o’clock. When the wearer is at home, the two aforementioned hour hands are superposed. And as a final touch, a patented safety lock prevents accidental adjustment of local time.
But the story of the Ref. 5524R-001 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time doesn’t end here, as Patek Philippe has also introduced a ladies version of the watch, the Ref. 7234R-001. It uses the same movement fitted into a smaller case (37.5mm compared to 42mm for the gent’s version). Naturally, the two are perfect for couples looking for pair watches. Interestingly, there have been quite a few anecdotes of couples where the gentleman opted for the smaller and streamlined Ref. 7234 while the lady would then wear the Ref. 5524 as a statement piece. This just goes to
show Patek Philippe really has something for everyone and every occasion.
Discover more at cortinawatch.com/en/patekphilippe/
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